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What Obama Needs Is a Change of Job Description

This whole oil spill mess just sort of highlights the fact that Obama has no idea what a president is supposed to do.

by
Frank J. Fleming

Bio

June 15, 2010 - 12:00 am

I think the country is being pretty unfair to President Obama. He just seems so befuddled and confused by everything lately, and everyone keeps yelling and being angry at him, which only makes it worse.

This whole oil spill mess just sort of highlights the fact that Obama has no idea what a president is supposed to do. He’s been constantly vowing to take swift action but doesn’t seem to have a clue what that action should be. Like he didn’t even seem to have thought of talking to the CEO of the company responsible for America’s biggest environmental disaster until a journalist brought it up. And the best idea he’s come up with for action since then is to try and sound tough, vowing to find out “whose asses to kick.” You could almost see him practicing that to get it just right.

“I’m going to talk to experts to figure out whose asses I should hurt in some way.”

“No, Mr. President; you’re going to find out whose asses to ‘kick’. What you said doesn’t quite mean the same thing. And try and scrunch your face more to look really angry.”

But no one takes him seriously on this. If he did find the correct ass, do you think he’d really know what to do with it? He’d probably just stare at it all confused and be afraid it might hurt him back.

So people look at Obama and how he doesn’t seem to know what he’s doing with the oil spill, is flailing around trying to stimulate the economy, and is forcing a poorly thought out and unread health care bill on America and say he’s doing a bad job as president. But as I said, we’re being unfair to him. What was Obama before all this? He was a community organizer — pretty much a made up job with unknown responsibilities, as far as I can tell. I doubt Obama even knew what he was supposed to do in that job. And after community organizer, he was a legislator who voted yes, no, and present on things — a pretty simple job at which he reportedly was average. So what in his resume gives anyone the idea he would know how to do anything about a huge environmental disaster? What in his previous experience gives us any inkling he knows the first thing about economics? Why are we angry at him for not knowing things there was no reason to ever think he would know?

This problem goes back to why we elected Obama. We elected him because he was a good speaker and said nice, positive things. And I guess a lot of people thought that’s what he’d do as president: stand around and say positive stuff. But when Obama became president, he rightly realized he was actually supposed to do stuff. So he’s tried to do stuff to the best of his limited ability. The result is trillions more in debt, a still failing economy, and half the ocean covered in oil, but hey, he’s trying. And we’re going to yell at him for doing a bad job? It’s like we took a fry cook from McDonald’s and decided to make him a neurosurgeon because he looked good in a surgical mask and then got mad at him when he killed his first patient. Who is really to blame here?

So basically we screwed up, and we’re taking it out on Obama. So what do we do now? Just complain and yell at Obama for two or so more years? That’s not right. Here’s an idea, though: why don’t we change the responsibilities of the president so it is a job he can do well?

What can Obama do well? He can give speeches and say positive things. Can’t we make it so the presidency involves only doing that? We wouldn’t be the first country to do it; in Israel, the president is basically an apolitical, ceremonial figurehead. Now doesn’t that sound like something Obama can do? He could continue to go around saying, “Yes we can!” That made him popular in the first place, and there would be absolutely no expectation for him to back that up with any actual actions. It would be perfect for him; he’d be like our own Queen of England.

So let’s do that. We would have to change the Constitution, which can be done one of two ways: 1. Pass an amendment. 2. Have someone sneak into the National Archives in the middle of the night with whiteout and a pen and edit the Constitution, and then the next day we all act like we just realized it had always said that.

Either way, once we get it done, think of how much better a president we’ll have. With the oil spill, he’ll go to a beach and look all concerned and vow that action must be taken, and then we’ll have to agree he’s doing a great job as president because you wouldn’t expect a figurehead to do anything more than that. And as for the economy, Obama would go on TV and say, “We will create more jobs. We will have a strong economy again. Yes we can!” And presumably while he’s saying that, we’d have someone who actually knows something about economics and business working on the economy.

Oh, I guess if we made Obama a figurehead, we’d have to hire some new guy to handle all the old presidential responsibilities. Not sure how we’d do that, but we obviously need to come up with a more rigorous selection process than we’d use to pick a president. How do you usually find someone with actual qualifications for a job? I guess we could put an ad out on Craigslist.

Frank J. Fleming is the author of Punch Your Inner Hippie, coming November 11th, and the science fiction novel Superego, coming later this year, writes columns for PJ Media and the New York Post, and blogs at IMAO.us, and also wants little Barry to wear a hat so he doesn't catch a cold.
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